Op-Ed: The problems with bear hunting in NH

Published in the Union Leader on September 14, 2020 — IN CELEBRATION of the start of hunting season, Andy Schafermeyer devoted his September 6 “Adventures Afield” column to advertising different ways to hunt black bears. Bear hunting season in New Hampshire began Sept. 1.

Of the various bear hunting methods covered, perhaps the most egregious is hunting with trained dogs, or “hounding.” Hounding, which Andy describes as “sometimes controversial,” involves using packs of dogs to pursue bears until the exhausted animals either seek refuge in a tree or turn to fight the hounds. (Hounding is also dangerous for the dogs, who can be injured or killed.)

Andy states that most of these “treed” bears are released unharmed (presupposing that the stress of being pursued and potentially separated from dependent young causes no harm), because while the bear is trapped overhead, the hunter has time to “pause and observe.” “A sow, especially one with cubs, can be passed over,” he writes, in an apparent appeal to ethics. But self-restraint is optional. Although the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department discourages killing a mother with cubs, it is not illegal.

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Letter to the Editor: Time for a more humane squirrel hunting season

Letter to the Editor
Union Leader
August 25, 2020

Time for a more humane squirrel hunting season

New Hampshire Fish and Game is promoting the start of small game season on September 1st. That includes gray squirrels. What the department neglects to mention is that this is the time — as well for the second wave — of gray squirrel births this year.

Gray squirrel mothers are devoted and caring. If something happens to her, the babies will starve to death. Also, the babies can get fly larvae on them and the mother is not there to groom and keep that danger off. She is also not there to prevent other adult squirrels from entering the nest. When hunters kill mother squirrels, all of that happens. That is a fact.

I petitioned last year to change the date of the season to a later time so that the babies could at least fend for themselves if their mother was killed by hunters. I used the evidence of wildlife rehabbers saying they had dependent babies even coming to them still in October. The reply from Fish and Game was a flat denial and they cited some useless study from another state that was decades old.

I leave you with the words of a hunter that stopped hunting squirrels after an epiphany. He shot a squirrel’s head off, but the body was still there hanging on by the back legs and dangling. He shot the body again to get her down, looked at the squirrel on the ground and asked himself, “Now, why am I doing this?” Why indeed.

KRISTINA SNYDER
Chester

Our Turn: Management of state’s native fish needs reform

By LINDA DIONNE, JAMES GLOVER, JACK HURLEY and SHIMON SHUCHAT
For the Monitor — July 27, 2020

Aug. 1 is Respect for Fish Day, a national day of action to increase appreciation for fish as individuals and essential members of their aquatic ecosystem communities.

Over the past decade a large body of scientific evidence demonstrating that fish are sentient, cognitively complex animals has come forward, and according to the American Veterinary Medical Association fish “should be accorded the same considerations as terrestrial vertebrates in regard to relief from pain.”

Unfortunately, this scientific consensus isn’t reflected in public policy and the welfare and conservation of fish is often neglected. This problem is embodied in the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s management of our state’s wild fish populations, particularly its liberal hatchery stocking program and under-protection of native brook trout.

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Tabling at New England Dog Expo

NHARL had a busy and productive day tabling at the New England Dog Expo hosted by Good Mojo University in Milford. We promoted our advocacy work and spotlighted the benefits of a vegan diet — both for people and for dogs. We had many good conversations and handed out a lot of vegan dog treats and vegan “people treats.” On top of that, we got 14 new names for our mailing list and collected some cash donations for NHARL.

Special thanks to Camberville Dog Treats, V-Dog, and Bobo’s bakery for donating the treats, and to Good Mojo University for inviting us.

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Protesting at Living Shores Aquarium

Members of NHARL and Until Lolita is Home hold signs outside the Living Shores Aquarium at Story Land in Glen to protest the opening of the aquarium and how its corporate parent treats Lolita the orca at a marine park in Miami

Animal-rights protesters target Living Shores Aquarium at Story Land

By John Koziol, Union Leader Correspondent — Nov 10, 2019

GLEN — Two animal-rights groups held a protest Saturday outside the new Living Shores Aquarium at Story Land, questioning the commitment to animal welfare and giving a special nod to Lolita, an orca in Miami.

From noon until 2 p.m., about 10 people, representing the New Hampshire Animal Rights League and Until Lolita is Home, stood on the side of Route 16 in front of the aquarium, some holding signs that read, among other messages, “Animals are not our entertainment,” “Otters belong in the wild” and “Freedom matters to all.”

The protest generated no confrontations — a Bartlett police officer in a marked vehicle was in the Story Land parking lot nearby — but the protest did get many honks of support from passing drivers and at least one very loud, very clear expression of opposition from the driver of a bright red pickup truck.
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Post Your Property Against Hunting

The NH Animal Rights League provides free signs to anyone who wishes to post their property against hunting.

Hunting season begins September 1, so now is the time to post your property.

On September 1, bear hunting season begins in New Hampshire. In this state it’s legal to hunt bears over bait, by stalking, or with hounds.

Although hunters must get your permission to place bait on your property, they do not need your permission to hunt with hounds. So if you don’t post your property against hunting, “hounders” are free to chase, tree, and shoot a bear on your property. It’s not uncommon for still-lactating females to be inadvertently killed, leaving orphaned cubs behind.

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Protesting Miss NH Pageant for Awarding Fur

NHARL protests at Miss NH Pageant

NHARL joined with other animal rights groups outside the Miss New Hampshire competition to protest the awarding of a fur coat to the winner. Kristina Snyder led the initiative and was quoted by the Eagle Tribune:

“It is time that the Miss New Hampshire Organization and indeed Miss America’s as well, takes a stand against cruelty to animals and says ‘no’ to this fur coat… These young women are supposed to reflect today’s society and trends. They should show independence, compassion, and caring towards animals. By staying stuck in the past and accepting a fur coat made from tortured animals, instead it shows a regressive stance by this organization.”

Leghold traps are modern-day torture devices. New Hampshire trappers remove important predators from the ecosystem, including coyotes and foxes which help control Lyme disease.

Leghold traps do not discriminate, often trapping non-target animals. Pets as well as endangered/threatened species, such as American bald eagles and the New England cottontail rabbits, have all been victims of these cruel traps.